Neither man looking to commit to too much early on, clearly respecting each other's games. Monson is bleeding from the top of the head from an accidental clashing of heads as Cormier commits to more strikes. Cormier starting to land more. He cracks Monson with a left hand. Monson lands his first good shot of the fight with about a minute to go but it doesn't phase Cormier. Now Monson starting to throw more. Cormier responds. Things slow down as the round ends. A clear round for Cormier.
Monson misses a big haymaker that actually makes him fly to the canvas but Cormier won't go into his guard. Both fighters landing more and more. The jab is working for both men. They clinch against the cage with two minutes to go. Cormier gets underhooks but lets it go and backs off and lands several flush shots but Monson takes them. They clinch again and Cormier throws Monson to a knee and lands some shots. Another round for Cormier.
Cormier ducks under and takes Monson's back standing for a brief second. Three-punch combo sends Monson back. A left hookdoes the same. Superman punch lands for Cormier. Monson is reeling. He tries to clinch but Cormier shucks him off. He makes him stand. They clinch against the cage. Cormier drops Monson to a knee with a left and a right. Monson tries for a takedown but can't get it and Cormier backs off. Off the restart, Cormier initiates a clinch. They break with a minute to go and Cormier just shucks Monson to the ground again. Monson stands. Monson eats a head kick right on the chin with 20 seconds left. That'll do it. Should be 30-27 for Cormier.
All three judges score the bout 30-27 for Cormier.
Cormier came into the fight at 4-0 in Strikeforce, most recently defeating Devin Cole in January. Monson was making his Strikeforce debut and had won eight straight fights coming in.